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Rapper Xzibit: Homophobia ‘Part of the Landscape’ in Hip-Hop


QUEERTY SELECTS — We’ve been regularly monitoring homophobia in hip-hop, going so far as to identify Hip Hop’s Homophobic Haters. And it’s why we love BET scribe Clay Clane’s interviews, since he regularly asks the music industry’s biggest talents about gay culture and homophobia. Clane’s latest Q&A is with rapper Xzibit, who says of homophobia in hip-hop: “It started as just common place; it was just part of the language. I think the overtones that it creates, is not what really exists. I don’t think if you are gay and you go to a hip-hop club that you’ll get beat up for being gay. That’s not what is going to happen. I think words are the way that people express themselves—just like if you say bitch on a rap record for a long time you can rally thousands of women that will say that’s incorrect. You can’t focus on one single thing or bad aspect of what happens in hip hop and try to blanket it. That’s not the root of the problem. It exists, I think it’s how you portray it, and it’s how you use it. You gotta paint with a broad brush when you talk about homophobia because it’s a lot of things that exist in hip hop that aren’t exactly right, but it’s part of the landscape.” [BET]

On:           Apr 8, 2009
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    • ChristopherM

      Rock music is chock full of homophobia. Is there a reason you single out one genre of music?

      Apr 8, 2009 at 2:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • afrolito

      That was a lot of bullshit doublespeak in one long paragraph.

      Btw, Xzibit hasn’t been relevant in years…

      Apr 8, 2009 at 2:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RJ WAY

      Someone needs to Pimp his Grammer

      Apr 8, 2009 at 2:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • afrolito


      Yes…black people dominate it, so it’s homophobic by default. We should all realize by now that black people are the most virulently homophobic people on the planet.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      OK, I can’t resist this one.


      Apr 8, 2009 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AlanInSLC

      For someone who is in the Hip Hop scene, its actually quite refreshing for someone to have a more open view of whats going on. What he says does make sense. Xzibit actually sounds like he knows what he’s talking about and he’s not just spewing a bunch of nonsense like you usually get with Hip Hop stars. People do use language imporperly. I know I do all the time. In any scene there is the common slang, subjects, and slams that seem to define that particular scene. Hip Hop just seems to have derogatory overtones with nearly everything they say.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 2:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alex

      I think he is right.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 3:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dan

      It also depends on what people are -not- saying with their lyrics. When people make normative assumptions in songs that every boy wants a girl or vice versa, that’s repellent to me. Of course, I may take more issue with that than another queer guy, but there are lots of ways that homophobia is expressed besides explicit language. That’s why I like ChristopherM’s point that other genres of music feature homophobic lyrics too. Xzibit echoes this sentiment. It’s a part of the genre’s landscape but if we paint “with broader strokes,” we realize it’s a part of the music industry’s landscape as well (how many wildly successful mainstream artists are there on the level of T-Pain? Mariah? Britney? Boyz II Men? (the list goes on) Maybe one or two?).

      I don’t think Queerty is necessarily singling out homophobia in rap, but I would like to see other genres represented here!

      Apr 8, 2009 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      The same arguments can be made of country music. Like I said before, I have no problem with you following this. I just wish you were honest about it by covering all aspects of the music and film scenes rather than cherry picking hot button, sure to get comments, items. I get the reason to be sensational to build your audience, but it really is irresponsible to not make it clear that this is not race or genre specific, but one of all music. We need to address that reality. If for not other reason than we want to really get at homophobia rather than just part of it. The reality is that if you eliminated all of hip hop today, you would still have much of country music to contend with. And not, one band does not a gay friendly music make. No more than either this hip hop artist or any one artist can make up for wide spread undercurrents in an a music genre.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @Dan: It’s singling out hip hop when people have consistently made your arguments (including myself) only be ignored with further posts about hip hop at the exclusion of other genres. I have no problem talking about the homophobia in hip hop. It’s a fair and good topic of discussion, but the way it’s covered you would think that this is the only genre in which bigotry hides.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 3:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      @The Gay Numbers:

      It’s all about the number of posts, though. Now watch, somebody is gonna come in here and say some totally outrageous race-baiting shit and we’ll be up to 100 posts by morning.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 3:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @Chitown Kev: Yes, I noticed that in the other article comments section. I mentioned that I think we could learn alot from the trajectory of black civil rights about where the gay civil rights movement would be headin. Some guy named LDS says I am pitting blacks against gays. Logically, I could not get how he saw my using the analogy as pitting one against the other. But it did gain a lot of attention. There are certain topics where peo go on autopilot. Sexual orientation is one. Race is another. So complex ideas like analogies are lost in translation.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 3:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      @The Gay Numbers:
      LDS…Latter-Day Saints, Gay Numbers.

      You were had.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kevin (not that one)

      I’ve hung around and worked on the fringes of the music industry in the past and I can certainly tell you that anytime you’re dealing with straight males, in whatever genre, you’re going to have homophobia. It’s true in Rock, Hip Hop, Reggae, Country, and yes even Electronica.

      Until just very recently, all popular music was dominated by straight men with only a scattering of women artists. In the past, at various places of music-related business or in certain scenes, I was often the only openly gay male present.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 3:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @kevin (not that one): It’s the same in movie making with anymore that’s not considered to be a gay film (at least thats my experience so far)- very heterosexual male driven, especially on set.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 3:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rogue dandelion

      um, singling out hip hop?
      can you show me a popular artist from another genre that has used epithets like “fag” in their music?
      if you can find explicit homophobia in the lyrics of popular artists in other genres- let us see it!
      even implicit?

      Apr 8, 2009 at 3:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rogue dandelion

      @The Gay Numbers: that is just it!
      bigotry hides in other media- most likely this is true.
      it doesn’t hide in hiphop- it is normative and explicit.
      of course there are exceptions, but they are just that, exceptions.

      (oh in my previous post, I did not consider country, but that is because i don’t really consider it music- but I wouldn’t mind seeing examples of homophobia in that genre)

      Apr 8, 2009 at 3:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK


      I think you’re confusing heterosexism with homophobia. Out and out homophobia as a byproduct of rampant sexism is a pretty common theme in hip hop, not just heterosexism.

      There are few other genres (country *gags*, pop, rock and metal) in which homophobia is so overtly aggressive and widespread.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 3:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • anthony

      I guess the articles on this blog always boils down to the black vs gay thing . like I said before, we already know you guys hate each other, whats new? gays hate black as evidenced by the constant racial slurs to the president on this blog and gay people also believe black people hate them. Now children we are even! goodnight

      Apr 8, 2009 at 4:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK

      Because if the topic is EVER brought up, it’s shouted down with cries of racism…nobody wants to be a racist today, so scream it loud enough, and you can shut down any intelligent conversation…and the few racists who do post (some black, btw) are, of course, representative of all gays…

      Apr 8, 2009 at 4:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @TANK: the funny thing is I don’t see one person about saying racism. You carry around so much baggage that you don’t even realize when you are projecting it onto others. If I wanted to call something racism, I would. SInce I did not use that word, it’s because I did not intend to call it racism. So leave your projections to yourself.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 4:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex

      @Dan: Actually, a lot of music is written in the 2nd person, which (in English) is gender neutral. You may assume he’s singing about a girl, and he may assume that, but that’s just an innate bias. The song can mean whatever you want it to mean.

      In KC we have a radio show that plays more independent hip hop, and the DJ has a policy of not playing any sexist or homophobic songs. There’s plenty of hip-hop out there that isn’t homophobic, just not the faux gangsta, over-marketed hip-pop that the suburban white kids love so much.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @rogue dandelion: Let me provide an analogy about how I think of this. Were we discussing race, my grandmother would say, “She would rather someone call her a nigger directly than behind her back.”

      Why did she say this? Because she said it let her know where things stood. Of course, she would have to address the overt bigotry, but it is the hidden bigotry that can hurt the worse. By analogy, by ignoring the hidden ways in which homophobia plays out in favor of the obvious, the danger is that we do not see the hidden expression.

      Again, I think it is valid to discuss homophobia in hip hop. I do not think it is useful to ignore how homophobia plays out in other context in the music industry. I do not see the value in narrow discussions of bigotry.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 4:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK

      @The Gay Numbers:

      Riiight…and, of course, the theme of some posters here that others are picking on black hiphop performers because they’re black and ignoring other genres that are predominantly white has nothing to do with the charge of racism. But pork chops, I guess you have a point about the word “racist” never coming up and being used to characterize someone else. WTG! Gold star.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 4:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK

      @The Gay Numbers:

      This isn’t about racism at all… The fact that some demand that each time hiphop is criticized, we need to criticize predominantly white genres, too…has nothing to do with the tacit charge of racism. Cake and ice cream? That’s crazy talk.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      At least you said “some.” Not all…

      Apr 8, 2009 at 4:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @TANK: You do not know the difference between pointing out a bias versus racism? You seriously think the choices are racism and not racism? You believe there is not a whole gradation of choices in between those two extreme poles? It’s this inability to descern a gradiation that is the basis of why I sa you are projecting. You assume your limited definitions are mines and others. I do not assume a bias means racism.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 4:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK

      @The Gay Numbers:

      blah blah blah. I’d never say that disagreeing with me implies that you’re wrong, it just substantially raises the probability.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 4:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @TANK: That’s funny from a guy who projects as much as you do.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 4:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK

      Kleinian? LMAO! Don’t play with words that you don’t understand. I’m not projecting; I’m describing what is here.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 4:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dabq

      Other than the fact that hip hop isn’t really music,although this ‘rapper’ is kind of sexy, the one thing that is always lost is that the market for this tripe is usually suburban white kids who just love it, buy it and keep it alive when it should have died 25 years ago.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      No…it never should have gone homophobic in the first place with that NWA type bullshit.

      And exactly what does this say about suburban white kids?

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville

      It’s easy to point out the homophobia in hip-hop, but I think the genre is just more up front about putting it out there as opposed to country or rock or r&b. Being subtle is not exactly a virtue in hip-hop.

      Clearly tons of black LGBTs have no problem with hip hop, judging from what I’ve heard in the black clubs for about 10 years.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @The Gay Numbers:

      He isn’t gonna suddenly get perspective GN!

      I said this on another post and I’ll say it again…there’s no point arguing or debating with people who show low intergrative complexity…i.e low problem solving, dogmatic, singular, shows lack of empathy therefore struggles with anologies etc..

      It renders the dialogue obsolete.

      Also people with IC ALWAYS get more dogmatic and more into their way of thinking when you raise an argument to debate their opinion, where as those with high IC will think more about their opinion to understand further if they are actually wrong and if so, will alter it..

      There so much research about particularly in the realm of political science BUT their are also some ground breaking one’s in trying to understand religous people..etc etc..

      I would like but what I have is a paper..

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)


      What genres of Hip Hop have you listened?

      Xzibit is mainstream commercially friendly hip hip….

      Have you listening to intelligent? Progressive? French? Acoustic Hip Hip..?

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville

      @Chitown Kev:

      I wouldn’t say NWA ushered in homophobia in rap.

      Melle Mel first said the lines

      “Now your manhood is took and you’re a Maytag
      Spend the next two years as a undercover fag”

      back in 1979 on “Superrappin’,” more famously used on “The Message” in 1982.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      @Anthony in Nashville:

      yeah…although I do have a problem with that, although it would depend on the playlist.

      Now in 1987? No problem with hip hop in the club. None.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @rogue dandelion:

      I see what you mean but Rock is just as bad, it’s just rappers/hip hopers (MAINSTREAM) are soo weird and OBSESSED with not being gay…but I don’t think they’re any more homophobic..

      I’d be pretty shit scared of going to some of those hillybilly rock concerts with girls with their breasts and faux blonde locks hanging to their asses…and the confederate flag..


      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      @Anthony in Nashville:

      OK, and there was the line in “The Message” too about the bag woman that used to be a “fag hag.”

      And that was rare in hip hop back then. I don’t recall that Run DMC had any homophobic lyrics.

      Homophobia was rare in hip hop and rap then, Anthony. Now the sexism was always there (“Roxanne, Roxanne,” 2 Live Crew) but it was when Hip hop went West Coast and gangsta did it really become homophobic.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      @John from England(used to be just John but there are other John’s):

      Ah, but you forgot “dem dukes” on a hot day.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK

      @John from England(used to be just John but there are other John’s):

      Do you ever think before you post? I see no evidence of that. THere’s this fatuous and false claim that some posters aren’t accusing other posters of racism by targeting (unfairly, I might add) hip hop for homophobia and, specifically, black performers….while not being critical of predominantly white donimonated genres.

      Then, he’s saying that he’s not accusing anyone of racism, or that anyone else is…it’s just “bias”…not racial bias…but bias…or prejudice…not racial prejudice…just prejudice…

      And now you come to his rescue. It’s a trend with you, I’ve noticed, to defend falsity boorishly and at great length. Unintentional though it is, it’s still obnoxious.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @Anthony in Nashville: That’s true. There’s always been an element of homophobia in hip hop. I remember reading about it with Keith Haring back in the 80s. His run in with it. To be honest, hip hop is not my thing, but I do know that homophobia predates what I call commodized rap (others call it gansta).

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK

      Run DMC didn’t have homophobic lyrics.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville

      @Chitown Kev:

      Good point with the fag hag reference. I forgot that part. I can’t think of any homophobic Run DMC lyrics, certainly not on their classic songs.

      I agree that hip-hop was more or less a “let’s party” genre until around 1987/88, when proto-gangsta records from Just Ice, Boogie Down Productions, Ice T, and others ramped up the machismo in the music.

      Since one of the tried-and-true ways to convince others of your (straight) masculinity is to dis the “faggots,” it’s not shocking that homophobic lyrics were increasing by the early 90s.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @John from England(used to be just John but there are other John’s): I agree, and thanks for reminding me.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      @Anthony in Nashville:

      Well, remember, it was gangsta rappers that attacked Will Smith. On the surface, they were saying that he wasn’t “keepin’ it real” but there was a strong current of homophobia beneath that.

      I can’t think of any homophobic LL Cool J songs either…although I wouldn’t expect to hear that from LL…lol

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @Anthony in Nashville: I think Grandmaster Flash used “Fag” in 1980s???

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      @The Gay Numbers:

      Oh, it was there but not like it was in rock music back then, Motley Crue was horribly homophobic. Then we saw the Pam/Tommy Lee tape and oh my, how we forgot…

      Of course, rock music homophobia stopped being “over the top” in the early 90’s.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      @The Gay Numbers:

      But it was that one song, Gay Numbers, it was not a trend in hip hop in the 80’s.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville

      @Chitown Kev:

      LL has always been smart enough to avoid homophobia in his lyrics. I think that kind of thinking is a main reason he’s one of the few rappers from the mid 80s who is still around. Besides, there may be too many people ready to pour his tea if he did, lol.

      Interesting thing with Will Smith. I had not put a lot of thought into the homophobic undercurrents of the “keep it real” phase of rap.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      @Chitown Kev:

      I don’t remember any homophobic lyrics from 2 Live Crew either.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK

      I don’t remember homophobic lyrics from motley crue. Then again, I’ve never “listened” to motley crue. I didn’t know that they had “lyrics”.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @Anthony in Nashville: Yeah, I was about to say that with LL it’s because he didn’t want his own closet to open. But, that’s always been ‘speculation.’

      @Chitown Kev: You may be right. Like I said, hip hop is not my thing. I seem to be more into rock and country music (at least according to my ipod). I always felt I had more in common with Alice In Chains.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev


      Metallica, I’m thinking of? Not Motley Crue…I get my metal confused sometimes.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      @The Gay Numbers:

      Hip hop WAS my thing when it wasn’t the ghetto music that began to define the genre. Before that, it was party music…frat boy music, really.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK

      Oh, okay. Agreed…metallica sucks…but I still liked their guitar hero commercial.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 5:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @Chitown Kev: I somewhat liked concious rap, but that did not seem to last long. I did go to hip hop parties, but honestly, I can not tell you most of the songs that were on that everyone else seemed to know the words to. I was just happy to dance to it.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 6:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott

      @John from England(used to be just John but there are other John’s):
      integrative complexity! there’s a name for that. Thank goodness. I thought it was just me. And it’s frustrating debating with people of low IC. Which I have done here.

      i just learned something new here. The day is not lost.

      I have nothing to add on hip hop and homophobia tho.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 8:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • getreal

      I like that he says homophobia isn’t right. We are watching a societal shift where even in bastions of homophobia (hip hop, high schools, the military) it is slowly but surely becoming “uncool” to be a homophobe.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 8:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Trey

      I don’t think A Tribe Called Quest, PM Dawn (do they count?), Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Camp Lo, Pharcyde, and OutKast ever went the homophobic route. Common had that dis track, “The Bitch in You,” but he seems to have turned away from homophobia.

      @Chitown Kev: i think today’s mainstream hip hop is frat boy music.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 9:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RM

      What are the top 10 rock songs this week? And how many have homophoboic lyrics?

      What are the top 10 hip hop songs today? How many have homophobic lyrics?

      That’s the answer to #1’s question.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 9:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason

      Twenty years ago, rap started off as something that was culutrally interesting and relevant. Since then, it’s gradually been taken over by the pornographers, many of whom think girl-girl is “hot” but guy-guy is “gross”.

      The black homophobes are using their color to insulate themselves from criticism that would normally apply to everyone else. Furthermore, the gay community has failed to go after these black homophobes in case it appeared to be “racist”.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 9:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rogue dandelion

      @RM: exactly!
      now also, if we can be fair
      don’t call a band like motley crew or whatever(before my time) homophobic unless you can cite specifics lyrics, events, or actions that would be indicative of said homophobia.
      If anyone wants me to google homophobic rap lyrics- hey I will- but I think we all know what the result would be.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 9:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rogue dandelion

      @The Gay Numbers:
      you say subtle homophobia can hurt worse- how subtle? how much worse?
      frankly, i don’t care if jimbo or whoever hates fags with all his heart- as long as he has the sense to keep it to himself.
      No one can eliminate homophobia or racism or sexism completely, the best we can do is make unacceptable to express openly in the public sphere.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 10:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • afrolito


      “Twenty years ago, rap started off as something that was culutrally interesting and relevant. Since then, it’s gradually been taken over by the pornographers, many of whom think girl-girl is “hot” but guy-guy is “gross”.

      The black homophobes are using their color to insulate themselves from criticism that would normally apply to everyone else. Furthermore, the gay community has failed to go after these black homophobes in case it appeared to be “racist”.”

      You have no idea what you’re talking about. For one thing rap started out in the early 70’s….not 20 years ago. How can I digest anything else you wrote, when you can’t even get the dates right??

      As far as going after “black homophobes” (as if they were a special case), I think the (white) gay community has done a pretty consistant job of scapegoating the ENTIRE black community based on the actions a some. So where do we go from here?

      Apr 8, 2009 at 10:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @rogue dandelion: Subtle discrimination must be addressed as much as overt forms. That’s been the history of racial struggle. I don’t see that being any different with homophobia. The subtle form is the most damaging because unlike say a KKK person burning a cross, it’s hard to identity someone who is denying you a job because you don’t “fit.” Whatever that means. How many more people are affected by the subtle discrimination than the overt? How many more people lose out economically because they are gay than compared to the number of gays who have been bashed? The bashing is more overt, but the economic harm of subtle homophobia (because we can’t easily say whether it is homophobia) can be more damaging to more people. Bringing it back to this discussion- just because the country music industry and its fans would not overtly call you a faggot does not mean their cultural beliefs will not result as they do in denial of gay rights in a state like TN or OK. The point is being blind to this is dangerous. I think what you may mean is that overt is easy. Yes it is. But that does not mean it should be the only focus. The lesson from the black civil rights struggle is that as we move from overt, the subtle will in fact probably become even wider. You already have people like Rich Warren saying he’s not a bigot despite some of the vile things he believes.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 10:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      See the problem is the time warp. We have this generation of post-Kurt Cobain queens (to draw a fine line on when and why rock became noticeably less homophobic) and gangsta rap is all that they hear (or want to hear) of hip hop.

      MC Hammer never had homophobic lyrics. Defintely not Queen Latifah. The Fat Boys? I don’t think so. Kid-N-Play? They were gay as all-out hell. Kool Moe Dee? Nope.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 10:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK


      What was I thinking?! Lawdy! ha ha ha ha

      Apr 8, 2009 at 10:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK

      RM has a point. Let’s see if there’s more homophobic lyrics in country than in hip hop. Who wants to lose some money?

      Apr 8, 2009 at 11:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rogue dandelion

      @The Gay Numbers: you and i seem to be using different dictionaries.
      denying someone a job because they are gay is not subtle. It is a direct observable action that has been legislated against and can be litigated.
      With regards to country music- I’d like to see an article on homophobia within it- I doubt there is any subtly, that requires thought.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 11:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev



      Define “homophobic lyrics.” And what type of time line are we talking about.

      I wouldn’t take you up on the bet myself, I can’t stand a lot of hip hop nowadays.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 11:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      @rogue dandelion:

      Denying someone a job because their gay is legal in some places. That’s what ENDA is all about.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 11:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK

      Lyrics that me lock the car doors instinctively. Makes me uncomfortable, goddamnit! Just kiddin’, hoss.

      Apr 8, 2009 at 11:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @rogue dandelion: The subtle part is in knowing whether it was because you were gay or not. The problem here is that you think that the homophobe is obligated to say in some kind of after school special way that they are a bigot. What’s more likely to occur especially as being gay becomes more acceptable is that they will never say they are firing you because you are gay. Just like they would never say we passed you up because you are the black guy. What happens as a minority group gains more acceptance is that the bigotry becomes more subtle because the bigots are not stupid enough eventually to say “hey, I am a bigot.”

      You already see this with how people are parsing and phrasing their language. I have the advantage (if you want to call it that) of being both black and gay. trust me, the more insideous racism I faced in the past was the subtle kind because it was tough to say “yeah, he just called me a nigger and burned a cross on my lawn so now I know.” Instead, what he may say is that you know we decided to go another way for the job. How am I to know if that’s not legitimate or not? In many cases it maybe, but in others there can be some racism there.

      I like how you get defensive about the discussion of country music. I am a fan of country music. That does not change the fact that many of the other fans and way too many of the country music singers see me as a second class citizens. They are proper “Christians” who would never call me a fag, but they would never the less think I am going to hell for being gay without ever saying it aloud to me.

      As I said, part of the issue here I believe from reading your response is life experience with subtle discrimination. Indeed, even the conservative Alito of the S.Ct. mentioned that in his confirmation hearings. That the way racism works is not that people are going to burn a cross on your lawn. People aren’t that stupid. This is why when someone says there is less racism I say that’s true, but it still occurs- for example through redlining. Redlining is where for supposedly economic reasons a business decides not to move into a neighborhood or heightens the cost of transactions in a neighborhood, but the more deeper reasons are related to race.

      The whole point here is that the bigot makes it more difficult to prove their bigotry. The whole thing bout country music is that there are all these unspoken enforced rules. You aren’t going to hear them call me a fag, but it’s understood that basically I am not supposed to be there.

      Apr 9, 2009 at 1:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK

      It’s hopeless.

      Apr 9, 2009 at 1:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @Chitown Kev: Even with ENDAs passing (which I want to pass) there is a strong chance that the homophobia will just go underground. Laws can only affect human behavior so much. I still want the laws as some form of protection, but am realistic about its limits. If people want to commit evil acts, they will find some way to do it. That’s the sad reality that one learns when dealing with minority status of any kind. Luckily, oddly enough the more substle it becomes the more thatwe have a sign that there is indeed progress.

      Apr 9, 2009 at 1:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @afrolito: I think the problem is on both sides. With the white gay community which really wants to have nothing to do with blacks (Even gay ones) excludes us. The black straight community wants to do the same. My friend who works with black gay men in terms of pscyhotherapeutic groups says that the trauma he sees amongst gay black men due to the double whammy of choosen between one or the other, and often being an home in neither, is huge.

      Apr 9, 2009 at 1:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev

      @The Gay Numbers:

      see, my experience is a little different in that I am OK in the white gay community. That is with the caveat that I do not participate in the bar scene, which is where a lot shit goes on. Plus noone is ever going to mistake my nerd looking ass for a Mandingo type. Maybe, in that sense, I get over a little bit. Even though I might scream if I hear that, “You’re not like other black guys one more time.”

      Now most of the black straight community…other than my family, I stay as far away from them as I can. I am not religious, not a church queen, I can’t relate and I don’t relate.

      I actually live in a white “straight” community more or less that’s pretty multi-ethnic. I don’t go down to Boystown for much and…that’s OK, really

      Apr 9, 2009 at 1:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael

      Umm, it’s Grammar.

      Apr 9, 2009 at 1:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rogue dandelion

      @Chitown Kev: of course i know that, i didn’t say it had been legislated against everywhere, my point was is it isn’t subtle homophobia, it is the opposite.

      Apr 9, 2009 at 3:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rogue dandelion

      @The Gay Numbers:
      Wait wait wait
      I was defending country music???
      I said
      a)I don’t consider it music(that ain’t complement honey)
      b)I’d like to see an article about homophobia in country “music”(I wasn’t being sarcastic)
      c)that country music isn’t know for it’s subtlety.
      so what are you talking about?

      to your point about difficult to prove- that is progress.
      when it is easy to prove and acceptable, well that is just hard to take, no?
      you can’t take on struggles for equality, marriage rights, employment rights- when you it is publicly acceptable and mainstream to use the most degrading epithets in popular culture.
      No one will consider rights if they are ok with people burning metaphorical crosses on your lawn. You are approaching things backwards. First we must assert our humanity, our dignity, before we can hope at tackling larger fights and more “subtle” discrimination.

      Apr 9, 2009 at 3:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rogue dandelion

      @rogue dandelion:
      to summarize, “fags” get nowhere.
      if you are going to be a full citizen- it has to start somewhere, we have to stop taking this shit, or no one will take us seriously.

      Apr 9, 2009 at 3:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • glox

      @rogue dandelion:


      Really there is not point in arguing with him. His mind is set on the issue already. He also seems to ignore that one of the ways of dimming down -isms/dehumanization is to make it taboo in the mainstream/public discourse.

      – A black gay person who doesn’t like the idiots here talking for him.

      Apr 9, 2009 at 7:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Freeman

      @The Gay Numbers: I can confirm that the double whammy of being black and gay which involves dealing with the overt racism of the gay community and the equally dominant homophobia of the black world is incredibly traumatic and lends toward a life filled with isolation. I’m too black for the gays and too gay for the blacks. I believe most black gay men live a life on the periphery, and because of this isolation, many spend their entire lives depressed and searching for acceptance. Perhaps this explains the ever increasing number of black gays who are infected with HIV- maybe because they engage in unprotected sex to numb themselves from the pain of overt isolation.

      Apr 9, 2009 at 12:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @rogue dandelion: John from England was right about several of you. Good luck.

      Apr 9, 2009 at 2:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @glox: I am not speaking for you. That youthink that says a lot about you.

      Apr 9, 2009 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      @Freeman: I do not agree or disagree on the HIV thing because I do not know anything about it. Frankly, I am not much linked to either community at this point because I have other things that are more important to me. I do think it hurts me with my ambition that I am a black gay man on some level because connections for achieving business ends (my interest) comes from relationships. These can be hard to folster in the context of not having as large a group of people with whom my sexuality or race are acceptable. But, I do not tend to allow those things to stop me.

      Apr 9, 2009 at 2:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott

      @The Gay Numbers: Ha. I bet ur talking about IC. LOL. I could be wrong but I think you are.

      Apr 9, 2009 at 2:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK

      @The Gay Numbers:

      Oh yeah!? Oh YEAH!!!!!!? WEll, John from england’s a JERKFACE LOSERPANTS! John from england is a “gay homosexual”, too, so who cares what he thinks?

      And you’re just hammerhead with cheddar brains. You sloppy fish!

      Apr 9, 2009 at 2:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joee

      “I don’t think A Tribe Called Quest, PM Dawn (do they count?), Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Camp Lo, Pharcyde, and OutKast ever went the homophobic route.”

      actually, a tribe called quest made the most homophobic song of all time, georgie porgie. outkast use to be anti-gay as well but i know that atleast andre 3030 has changed his views. not sure about big boi. mos def has recorded some pretty homophobic songs too.

      Jun 15, 2009 at 2:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Meagan

      Yo, I put a paradox in yo paradox so you can be confused while you bein’ confused!

      Dec 23, 2009 at 10:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • F.U.B

      You all lose. And LL had anti-gay rhymes.

      For God’s sakes, so does Kanye.

      KRS-One does, Common, and when you get more underground and independent, the deeper anit-gay they get.

      The greats Tupac & Biggie were anti-gay.

      Rap music reflects the inner city culture. It ain’t gonna turn anti-homophobic.

      Kanye’s hypocritical ass tried and now Hip Hop fans look upon him as a clown.

      Feb 18, 2010 at 11:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shiva

      @Freeman: mmhhmm… it is definitely for that reason. The steadfast homophobia that has a hand in creating black culture (admittedly and regretfully..) is definitely cemented in the need for black men to feel powerful over some group of people, and in hip hop it is women and gays that they degrade, money cars and liquor that they lust after, and bitches that they fuck.
      Let’s also not forget the homoeroticism in hip hop lyrics. “If i hit u gotta let the whole team in it, yea let the team in it” (i think)
      like… that’s gaayyyy…! other songs, as well, that illustrate a creepy, and super homo mentality of putting your dick where your dude’s dick has been… again.. gay.

      Mar 11, 2010 at 9:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Dean

      Outkast – 13th Floor (Growing Old):
      “Tainted as the mind who’s blinded to the point
      where Sodomites get all the rights.”

      They aren’t just anti-homosexual, they are anti-equality.

      Apr 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HASSAN

      @RJ WAY:

      Aug 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark

      @RJ WAY: Someone needs to pimp your spelling!

      Oct 30, 2011 at 6:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Frances

      there a lot black gay men and women. so say that your black homophobia don’t know any blacks

      Aug 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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